While there is uproar about the NCAA moving up the NBA draft early entry deadline, Kentucky coach John Calipari is citing an inadequate amount of time for testing the waters in announcing a "first-of-its-kind" combine for his draft-eligible players to participate in.
The Kentucky Combine, as Calipari is calling it, will allow Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones, DeAndre Liggins and senior Josh Harrellson an opportunity to work out with NBA personnel, and every NBA team has been invited to the Kentucky campus next week to attend the event. Two days of private workouts are scheduled with accompanying one-on-one interviews with the players after they attend classes.
"My hope is this will allow our players to get direct feedback from NBA decision-makers and hopefully create a clearer picture of what their NBA potential may be," Calipari said in a statement. "Instead of us telling them what we are hearing, they can hear directly from the clubs."
Calipari said he preferred to be coaching Knight, Jones and Liggins next season, but the former NBA coach has never been shy about wanting to help his players fulfill their NBA dreams, and organizing such a combine shows that.
The NCAA's deadline for early entries to return to school was moved up last year to allow only about a week for NBA teams to conduct workouts, hampering the players' ability to gather as much information as they had been able to in years past before making final decisions.
Knight, Jones and Liggins declared for the NBA draft without hiring agents and can return to school if they withdraw their names by the May 8 deadline.
Citing an "unending desire to always be a players-first program," it is Calipari's hope that the Kentucky Combine will give his players more to think about from the feedback they'll be getting.